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Lateral Movement

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Despite consulting a few ski instruction books, I'm still stumped and am asking for some advice.
I'm realizing that, during turns, my skis don't move very far laterally from my body. In observing more advanced skiers, I'm convinced that being able to create a "pendulum" movement--where my skis get very far away from my torso during the apex of a turn--will enable me to carve tighter turns with more control and dynamism.
Can anyone give me some tips (or, better yet, a drill progression) to help me develop this skill?
post #2 of 13
yep - just a student here but...

my instructors simply work on generally making me SKI better - the skis out from body happens as a result of the skiing technique they do not aim to get me to do that as such (well sometimes just because they CAN they do - but it is when the technical stuff is all together already!)
post #3 of 13
The latteral movement is angulation. Add to this an inclination which involves the ankles. This is 'fine tuning' your edges.
post #4 of 13
Off the top, I would suggest a fresh perspective on the skis/body relationship. While it is common to think about getting the skis out from under the body, I would suggest thinking in terms of the skis and body being on separate, yet inter-related, paths, each managed in relation to the other. The body takes a shorter shallow arced path, while the skis take a longer and more deeply rounded arc. This is most evident in falline turns where the body does not deviate from side to side. For this to happen, the legs must flex thru transition to allow ski and body paths to cross without conflict or re-direction of the body's path. The legs then lengthen as the paths separate, becoming most extended in the falline, before again beginning to flex as skis come around and back toward body for next transition.

In that most turns are somewhat out of falline and provide for some re-direction of the body path, I reference the projection, or extension of the body diagonally (or laterally) toward the inside of the turn. This is important as it leaves the integrity of the skis carving path undisturbed, compared to when you push the skis out from under body. An aggressiveness of the release of the body across the skis path toward the inside of the new turn promotes higher edge angles earlier in the turn due do a greater angle of separation of skis/body paths. [img]smile.gif[/img] This releasing of the body, by softening the legs, must start before the body path is completely re-directed across the slope which would then requires either the body to follow skis path into falline (low edge angles) or the skis to be pushed laterally out from under, a common fault

I look at the flow of energy and connection from turn to turn as being dependant on the timing of the release of the body on its path toward inside of new turn. Note, this must start before edge change for optimum energy flow and to enable the high-end turn dynamics you seek. The flexion/extension pattern is: Flex to release body down and across thru edge change, followed by lateral extension of legs as body moves inside thru falline, then timing leg flexion to control pressure and body release from falline to next transition.

If as you soften your legs to release the body earlier, you continue to roll your feet (lead by inside foot) with intensity to increase edging (creating greater lower leg angles) the skis will tighten their arc around to cross under the body path at a more radical angle yielding the above mentioned path separation in the top of the next turn. [img]smile.gif[/img]

The cornerstone skills for this level of dynamic skiing are the above described edge change with flexion (not extension) and the ability to change edges without changing direction (pivot) of skis. This latter skill is first developed doing railroad track turns (twin arc pure carves) on flatter terrain. Practice triggering each edge change/release by rolling new inside foot over toward little toe edge (or its big toe up off snow if that perspective works better) as that old outside/new inside leg is softened. This promotes the release of body across skis vs. pushing off new outside ski big toe which promotes displacement of ski out from under body and a skidded turn entry.

Hope this helps.
post #5 of 13
During the Academy, Arcmeister had us practicing this movement many times. Once you understand the different paths that the body and the skis can take, you will understand how to achieve this. But having a relatively solid carve is key. You cannot skid and maintain such lateral extension at the same time.

So if you skid your turns, or initiate turns by pushing tails out, you will not be able to achieve the lateral extension you are looking for.
post #6 of 13
Others in this forum can answer question far better than I can, although I will say this:

You're looking at a symptom, not the root cause(s).

The pendulum motion is a combination of a quiet upper body and skis on edge. Figure how to make those two things happen and you'll have what you're looking for.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all of the thoughtful responses. Special mention to Arcmeister: I appreciate your detailed advice and I'll apply it in my next ski trip.
Isn't it great to find a community of skiers who are so dedicated to improving skills and enjoyment in themselves and in others?
post #8 of 13
Arc- This may sound stupid, however, I had never thought of big toe off the snow as opposed to tipping toward the little toe. I'm dieing to try that in my own skiing as well as with students.
post #9 of 13
Hi Rusty,
Different people relate to same movements from different physical cues. The foot tips/rolls toward the little toe side, but especially on firm snow the little toe side/edge becomes a more or less static pivot point, the action is where the big toe moves up in an arc around that pivot point. Some relate better to that greater sense of movement. Whatever focus at the foot that gets it rolled over that the student relates to is valid.
(Note: I refer to big toe vs. arch because its seems to encourage dorsiflexion of ankle as well).
post #10 of 13
Does holding back the new downhill hip facilitate getting the skis on edge and pulling the skis into the turn? I know that HH discusses it in the context of upper/lower separation in book 2 and it seems to help at least indoors.
post #11 of 13
jazfyrski, I understand what you are trying to accomplish, and it's really quite simple. You need to make the skis keep turning all the way across the fall line, then give them time to go out to the side before smoothly and aggressively edging and steering them. Make the turns look more like "C" than "S". The more speed the skis can carry across the fall line (i.e. the better you can carve), the farther to the side the skis will go. The hard part is staying in balance. You'll have much better success in soft snow.
post #12 of 13
Rusty Guy, you can tip both feet from the non-weightbearing side. In other words, tip up the outside of the outside foot and the arch of the inside foot. Some find this "thought" makes it easier to adjust the entire stance because you create less tension than when trying to push the other side of the foot into the snow.
post #13 of 13
Kneale, you are right. It is easier to understand and to do this way.

jazfyrski, try driving your skis a little faster relative to your CM. That will create a greater centrifugal force and consequently greater pressure from the snow; as a result, you will have to lean laterally further. The lateral movement is not the ends, but the means to achieve balance against all forces invovled in the turn.

Here's an perfect example:


I think her skis are going VERY fast here with reference to her CM in this phase of the turn; so she has to extend her legs and lean sideways, or else she would tip over her skis or get tired in the quads to withstand such forces during the entire run.

[ February 13, 2003, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
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